Regional Director Tom Melius. USFWS photo.
RD Column: Regional Visits
It’s been a busy spring with visits from Secretary Sally Jewell, Director Dan Ashe and Deputy Director Rowan Gould. I had an opportunity to visit with the Secretary when she visited Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. I showed her the resources of the tall grass prairie and some of the species that we are trying to recover that depend upon that habitat. You can read more about her visit here.
Director Ashe visited Chicago to plant trees as part of a new wildlife corridor and natural area in Chicago’s Burnham Park. The effort was conducted as part of a partnership with the Chicago Ecological Service’s Field Office, Chicago Wilderness, The Field Museum, Friends of the Parks, The Nature Conservancy, Openlands and Audubon – Chicago Region. While in Chicago, Director Ashe also met with representatives from the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity to discuss a partnership to provide opportunities for urban youth to experience nature and promote interest in conservation. You can read more about his visit here.
I also had an opportunity to visit with our Deputy Director Rowan Gould who came out to discuss the importance of science in the agency. While here, he visited the Whitney Genetics Laboratory in La Crosse, Wis. Construction of the Whitney Genetics Laboratory was supported by the President’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. The lab uses environmental DNA (eDNA) water samples for early detection of Asian carp. You can read more about his visit here: link to online story. To learn more about how we are using eDNA in the fight against Asian carp, visit: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/633.html.
Our region is fortunate to have received more than $4.5 million in funding recently from the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program’s Boating Infrastructure Grant Program. Learn more about the projects funded here.
Speaking of boating, this is a time when people start recreating in and on our waters within the region. I implore you to please remember the need to be safe as you are out recreating with friends and family this summer.
As always, it’s an honor to witness all the great work happening in our region!T.O.M.
Navigating Inside Region 3
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